Fishing Copenhagen

Fishing tales from Copenhagen and the rest of Denmark

5 good spots to go fishing in Copenhagen

In recent years Copenhagen has evolved to become an interesting city to go fishing. You can catch cod up to 5 kg in most of the harbour with lures or jigs. In the outer region lakes you can get a date with decent sized pikes and perch. If you are not afraid of a little civil obedience you can even fish the iconic inner lakes for monster pikes (Warning: Fishing these lakes is forbidden most of the year.)

Here is an introduction to four legal places to go fishing in Copenhagen and one not so legal. For all the legal ones, it is required that you purchase a national fishing license and for one of them you will need additional permissions as well. Prepare for your trip by getting a few tips for the best tackle in the local fishing shops and then you are ready to catch fish right in the center of Copenhagen.

Spot 1) Copenhagen Harbour – The northern and central Harbour

Permissions needed: National fishing license only.
Primary catches: Cod (often), flounder, seatrout, mullet (rarely and seasonal), garfish (seasonal), mackerel (seasonal)

 

The fishing for cod in the northern and central parts of Copenhagen Harbour started booming in 2015 and has only improved since then. It used to be forbidden to fish in the harbour but today it is allowed in many parts of it. Also the water is cleaner than previously so you can eat most of the fish, except for the flounders that use their whole life on the bottom of the harbour which is still a bit polluted.

Cod is the most popular catch in the harbour and you can catch them all year long. The high season starts in October and lasts to march. In this period it is quite common to come home from a trip with 1 or 2 nice cods ready for the frying pan. Pay in mind that to get your catch on land, you will do well to bring a net with a long handle, as there are typically 1-2 meters from where you will be fishing and down to the surface.

Fishing method in the harbour

I have the best experience with lures or soft baits (shads) that I reel and jig in slowly close to the bottom. Most days in the high season the cods feed directly on the bottom for crabs and gobies, and a shad or lure fished slowly will often be inhaled aggressively.
When you reel in be sure to make spin stops, and try to jig your lure or shad as close to the bottom as possible. Some parts of the harbour has depths down to 15 meters or more so I always let my lure hit the bottom before reeling in.

Cod have a tendency to hunt eagerly in the sunset and twilight so if you only have a few hours to fish, then choose the beginning or end of the day. You can even fish in the night and still have a good chance.

READ ALSO: COD FISHING IN COPENHAGEN HARBOUR

Beware that not all of the harbour has been opened up for fishing yet. Here is a map of where you are allowed to go fishing. (The green spots are the places you can go.)

Map of where you can fish in Copenhagen

Spot 2) Kastellet

Permissions needed: National fishing license and fishing card from the association Kastellets Venner.
Primary catches: Pike, perch, roach. (Catch and release only)

Big pike Copenhagen

Kastellet is an old fortress in Copenhagen that was built back in the 17th century. Today it is possible to fish the moat surrounding Kastellet if you acquire a membership card granted by Kastellets Venner. This is not done overnight as the fishing cards only get distributed to a limited number of anglers once a year. To join the waiting list you will need to join the association Kastellets Venner for 100 DKK pr. year. You will then need to pay an extra 350 DKK yearly for your own fishing card to the moat, when you are admitted access. Every year there are catches of 10+ kilos pike (that are always carefully released back), so in my opinion it is well worth your waiting time.

Fishing method at Kastellet

The anglers are allowed to fish from the inner ramparts that neither tourists or other fishing friends are allowed access to. From these ramparts you can hunt monster pike and perch using live bait, spin or fly. Live bait is the quickest way to the biggest pikes, but jerkbait, wobblers and even fly can also do the trick. At the eastern side of the moat you find the deepest water (3-4 meter) in the large pool. As for me, I prefer the western side which also have some medium sized pools and water depths down to 2 meter. The 8 kilo girl above was caught using live bait on a warm september morning in the northwestern part of the moat and the 10,5 kg pike below ate a roach on a warm day in June.

Monster pike from Copenhagen

Spot 3) Copenhagen Harbour – Sluseholmen

Permissions needed: National fishing license only.
Primary catches: Seatrout (often), cod (often), mullet (rarely and seasonal), garfish (seasonal)

Sluseholmen Copenhagen

Sluseholmen in the center of Copenhagen is a classic hot spot for seatrout anglers. Every year it delivers trouts above the 5 kilo mark for some of the most dedicated regulars that have perfected their methods just for this spot. And perfection sure is needed as the water current is extremely strong some places, and it takes some skill to find the right spots and depths where hungry seatrouts are hunting.

Fishing method at Sluseholmen

Some of the most skilled anglers use live bait like worms and shrimps but the most common method in the area is still old fashioned lures.

As for the best spots, one option is to walk directly out on Slusebroen and fish from the stone island with heavy lures or bait. Don´t be afraid to use 30-40 gram lures and fish both the strong current and the more quiet water in the right side of the canal. Another option is to walk down south for Sjællandsbroen to the big pool with calm water and lower water levels.

READ ALSO: COD FISHING IN COPENHAGEN HARBOUR

One angler that really knows his way around the fishing at Sluseholmen is Zoran Stanojcic who has caught a bunch of large trouts with float and live bait close to Slusebroen. Fisk & Fri wrote a recommendable article about his approach to the fishing in 2015 which you can read here. (In Danish).

Fishing Slusebroen Copenhagen

Spot 4) Damhussøen

Permissions needed: National fishing license only.
Primary catches: Pike and perch. (All pikes except the ones that are 60-80 cm must be released)

Damhussøen in Vanløse is a lake located between Vanløse, Rødovre and Frederiksberg and you are allowed to fish there from May 1 to February 28. The lake is big but anglers are only allowed to fish from three specfic spots. (See map below).

Usually you can have at least one or two spots for yourself as there are not that many anglers fishing the lake.

damhussøen fishing map

Fishing method at Damhussøen

In Damhussøen it is not allowed to use live bait so instead jerkbait, woblers and lures are the prefered weapon of choice. The fishing is pretty simple and most days it is a matter of finding the right depth and having patience. Since you only have access to three spots you can not fish where you might assume is the best on the day. This can be a bit frustrating and explains why there are not more anglers fishing this lovely lake.

damhussoen-frederik

Jeppe with a 4,5 kg pike from Damhussøen (Picture and rights: Fisk & Fri)

Spot 5) The inner lakes (Søerne)

Permissions needed: Fishing is forbidden. (Except on rare occasions when associations get permission to arrange fishing competitions)
Primary catches: Pike.

Gedde fra søerne

Picture and rights: Team Ivertic. Visit their website here.

“Søerne” in Copenhagen consists of five lakes in the center of the city. For pedestrians Søerne is a beautiful spot for a stroll but for urban anglers the lakes have another main attraction… Massive pikes lure between the piers, seaweed and rusty bicycles on the bottom and almost everyday you can see anglers trying their luck using woblers, jerkbait, jiggs or even livebait. The fishing is illegal but when you see some of their catches you can understand why they still go. I´ve seen photos of several 8+ kg pikes from Søerne and I´m quite positive that monsters up to 12-14 kg lurk these waters.

Luckily, once or twice pr. year the fishing is opened up for a legal competition in one of the lakes. If you follow the biggest Danish fishing media or ask your local fishing store you´ll likely notice when this is announced.

Fishing method at Søerne

Spin fishing with jerkbait, wobbler or lure is the most common. In Sortedamssøen which is the most popular lake together with Peblingesøen you often see young anglers fishing with live roaches next to the bridge north of Fugleøen. In some parts of the lakes a net with a long shaft is great to have as you can’t reach the surface from land. This is especially important for anglers fishing close to Dronning Louises Bro.

Contact

I will be happy to help you if you have questions about spots, tackle or fishing methods in Copenhagen. Feel free to contact me through fishingcopenhagen@gmail.com

Book a guide or tour boat

Looking for a urban fishing experience? I can help you find just the guide or tour boat you need to help you experience some great fishing both in Copenhagen and the rest of Zealand. Send me a mail and I will get back to you with a suggestion or two.